Prerequisites for Nursing School

A List of Essential Prerequisites for Enrolling at a Nursing School

Here's a look into the numerous prerequisites for nursing school that you are required to complete before applying to the college(s) of your choice.
EduZenith Staff
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
Nursing is a medical career that is gaining a lot of potential, because the demand for registered and licensed nurses is constantly increasing. Since it is a medical field, it is important to start preparing as early as possible. Different colleges have different requirements, and knowing how to go about fulfilling these requirements will take students a step closer to their career goals. For those of you who wish to make nursing your career, take a look at the prerequisites that you will need to complete.

Starting Off the Right Way

It is important to understand that laying the groundwork right will help you attain that much coveted nursing degree. More often than not, students find themselves very confused about how to start a career in nursing, which leaves them stranded when colleges open up for admissions. While the prerequisites mentioned below are common for all applicants, it is also essential that you find out the specifications of the colleges and universities you are applying to, and the number of credits required for each course. There are numerous variations in these requirements, and if you come to know of these at the time of application, you are likely to spend time making up for all the credits required. This will delay the overall time spent attaining the degree. It is therefore important to speak with your guidance counselor so as to meet the requirements as soon as possible, and get a step closer towards becoming a registered nurse.

General Prerequisites

Following are the general prerequisites you may require to complete, though they may vary based on the college you are applying to.

High School Diploma
The first step includes attaining a high school diploma or a GED with good scores. The GPA or Grade Point Average is what should be given due attention because of the increasing competition. The subjects that are selected during the diploma course should also be taken into consideration. These include:
  • Basic Chemistry
  • Anatomy & Physiology (Levels I & II)
  • Mathematics
  • Nutrition
  • Microbiology
  • Statistics
  • Psychology & Sociology
  • English Language
In addition, if the school offers a course in computer science and ethics, taking these courses will be helpful, as some colleges may give greater preference to students who have taken these courses. If these are not done at high school, you may enroll for a pre-nursing program or a foundation program in nursing. Some websites allow you to complete the many prerequisites for nursing online, which can make the process easier if you have missed out on any courses during high school.

Deciding on the Degree in Nursing
It is now time to decide which degree you would like to apply for. Apart from the prerequisites required in high school, you can first complete an associate's degree in the same field, if there is a long waiting period for admissions into the bachelor's degree. This degree is usually 2 - 3 years long, and not only provides theoretical education in this field but also gives an insight into the practical aspects of nursing by providing clinical practice. Here, you are trained to provide nursing care in various settings.

The next step is the completion of the bachelor's degree, that takes 4 years, and prepares you not only to provide nursing care in different settings, but also gives you an edge in that you can move up in the administrative field of nursing and attain a leadership position. If you have already attained an associate's degree, it may take you only 1 - 2 years to complete the bachelor's degree. Alternately, you may also choose to complete your degree online.

Applying to the College
Some colleges may require you to give the SAT or the ACT, along with completing the aforementioned prerequisites. As such, after you have decided which degree you want to pursue, take a look at the requirements of the college you are applying to. It is a good idea to apply to more than one college, so that you have greater options. Some colleges may also require you to give the National League for Nursing Pre-Admission Exam.

If you think you need financial aid to complete your education, now is the time to apply for it. Some colleges also offer scholarships based on grades or other areas. Find out what your college is offering, and apply accordingly.

After completing all the necessary prerequisites, you will find that the process of admission to a college of your choice will be much simpler. Again, remember to understand the individual requirements of each college before you go ahead and apply to them.